Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Weakening Odile travels up Baja, California, peninsula

Published:Wednesday | September 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Mexican soldiers try to stop people from looting a convenience store destroyed by Hurricane Odile in Los Cabos, Mexico.

CABO SAN LUCAS, (AP): A weakening Tropical Storm Odile pushed up Mexico's Baja, California, peninsula early yesterday, dumping heavy rains that could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides but also a potential boon to the drought-stricken region.

Mexico's government disclosed that army and commercial planes would be sent to La Paz and Los Cabos airports to ferry out some of the tens of thousands of tourists stranded in temporary shelters in hotels. Los Cabos international airport was damaged by the storm.

Charly Park, 52, flew in from Los Angeles on Sunday but instead of checking into his hotel room, he and his wife spent the night at a cramped, hot shelter.

"It's a horrible experience, no air conditioning, no fans ... the power lines all fell down," Park said.

Emergency officials in Baja, California, reported that 135 people have been treated for minor injuries from flying glass or falling objects, but there were no serious injuries or deaths so far. About 30,000 tourists were in temporary shelters.

Before moving north late Monday, Odile made landfall near Cabo, San Lucas, as a powerful Category 3 hurricane before rapidly weakening. It toppled trees and road signs along the main highway, which, at one point, was flooded by rushing waters. Windows were blown out of high-end hotel rooms and resort façades crumbled to the ground.

Most of the area's power poles were blown over, leaving 239,000 people in the state of Baja, California Sur, without electricity, said Luis Felipe Puente, national coordinator for Civil Protection.